Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls

Overview


In Everyday Psychokillers spectacular violence is the idiom of everyday life, a lurid extravaganza in which all those around the narrator seem vicarious participants. And at its center are the interchangeable young girls, thrilling to know themselves the object of so much desire and terror.

The narrative interweaves history, myth, rumor, and news with the experiences of a young girl living in the flatness of South Florida. Like Grace Paley's narrators, she is pensive and eager,...

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Overview


In Everyday Psychokillers spectacular violence is the idiom of everyday life, a lurid extravaganza in which all those around the narrator seem vicarious participants. And at its center are the interchangeable young girls, thrilling to know themselves the object of so much desire and terror.

The narrative interweaves history, myth, rumor, and news with the experiences of a young girl living in the flatness of South Florida. Like Grace Paley's narrators, she is pensive and eager, hungry for experience but restrained. Into the sphere of her regard come a Ted Bundy reject, the God Osiris, a Caribbean slave turned pirate, a circus performer living in a box, broken horses, a Seminole chief in a swamp, and a murderous babysitter. What these preposterously commonplace figures all know is that murder is identity: "Of course what matters really is the psychokiller, what he's done, what he threatens to do. Of course to be the lucky one you have to be abducted in the first place. Without him, you wouldn't exist."

Everyday Psychokillers reaches to the edge of the psychoanalytical and jolts the reader back to daily life. The reader becomes the killer, the watcher, the person on the verge, hiding behind an everyday face.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Corin reinhabits American speech like a psychokiller dressed out in a victim's skin. Her splintered perspective cracks the glossy landscape of commodification to reveal an unsettling intimacy with danger. It seeps through bandages of history and myth like blood from the torn-apart body of the ancient Egyptian god Osiris, falling apart in the arms of his sister-wife Isis. Corin anatomizes the eternal embrace of what saves and what kills, refusing to compromise the complexity of experience and language. There is no escape-not even in irony. Hers is a fully awakened sensibility." -Patricia Eakins, author of The Marvelous Adventures of Pierre Baptiste
Kirkus Reviews
Not really a history of anything except of a girl growing up in hard times. Choosing a title like this one may get Corin-an English professor and occasional storywriter-more attention than she might otherwise get, and that's mostly a good thing. This first novel isn't overtly about serial killers but is more interested in girls, one in particular, who lives in a small Florida town. It's a swampy, hot place where there isn't much work-the girl's mother mucks out stalls, kids are always leaving to go to Miami Beach and sell drugs-and even less to do. Corin fills her pages with the girl's observations of this world that envelops her like a humid sponge as she drifts in and out of different personas and muses constantly on the threatening forces that seem to always be encroaching. The most constant dread, born of tabloid news and true-crime books, is of serial killers, the Ted Bundys of the world, who prey on girls like Corin's narrator, the ones always described as innocent ("To point to something and call it innocent is to suggest that it won't be around for long, or that it's so stupid nothing will ever get through, no matter how awful. No one says innocent unless they mean doomed"). By book's end, the girl has morphed into an adult of sorts, without purpose, living in a nameless midwestern town, someone on the verge of becoming a killer herself. Corin's language is hot and pulsating, and she paints her pages with an intensity that doesn't always seem right, considering how abstracted and occasionally pretentious the story becomes. Nevertheless, her debut is worthy of note for what it tries to portray: the interior life of a girl, vulnerable like all the others, in a predatory society.Superbly evocative, though with several notable rough spots. Agent: Alison Bond
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573661126
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2004
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 223
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Lucy Corin is an assistant professor in the English department at James Madison University. Her short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals and twice in Algonquin's New Stories from the South, the Year's Best anthology series. Corin was first published by FC2 in 1996 in New Women's Fiction Anthology, Chick-Lit 2 (No Chick Vics). This is her first novel.
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